Create a layered, textured finish with stippling brush and sponge.
Faux (pronounced foe) is French, meaning “false” or “imitation.” It’s used here to describe various advanced painting techniques that create layered finishes, sometimes to imitate stone or wood or simply to allow underlying layers of paint to show through. Typically, two accent colors are applied to already painted walls and ceilings. If the surfaces are irregular—say, rough plaster—all the better, for colors will look more varied and unpredictable. In general, thin coats of paint allow you to see layers underneath. The photos here show a few faux-painting basics; if this whets your appetite for more, there are lots of good books on the subject.
In the sequence shown here, the painter was trying to achieve an old look, as if an imperfectly plastered wall had been painted many times. There’s no single right way to apply a faux finish, so you can experiment with methods and materials until you get a look you like. Then just try to re-create that look consistently throughout the room.